Tonight in a parenting moment of desperation, I texted my sister to tell her that I am a failure as a parent to teen girls. The highlights of this coversation included:
- This gig is too hard sometimes.
- They just think everything I say and do is stupid.
- They hang up on me and disrespect me when I tell them that no, they can NOT house sit unsupervised overnight with their friend.
- It’s hard to let them learn to fly when it feels like I’ve inadequately prepared them to do so!
And while I don’t think God enjoys generational payback, those famous words that we all heard from our own parents are ringing in my ears:
“Just wait until you have kids, you’ll see!”
Your kids is a teen and you find yourself shaking your head thinking “Oh no…THIS is what they were talking about!”
It’s really hard when you love your kids so much that want to give them the best of everything. And that same love also forces you to be the one person they despise the most when you have to say no to the things you know will hurt them.
Tonight I was told by daughter…my baby…that I’m “ridiculous” and that “I don’t understand” and that “I don’t trust her” because I wouldn’t let her go on that unsupervised sleepover.
But what she doesn’t know is that many years ago, long before she was born, I, too was a teenager. I know what can and usually does happen in these situations.
And it isn’t anything good!
And through these challenges with raising teen girls,
I'm now, more clearly than ever, seeing a new view of God's unending love for us.
I love my girls in a way I never knew I could love another person. And as much as I love those girls, God loves us even more!
There are many times in our lives when we long for something so bad that it consumes us. We pray for it, we wait for it, but for reasons that only God knows, He gives us a very gentle “No”.
Often when God says no to something we want this bad, it feels unfair! But just like we parent our kids with the knowledge we gained through our own experiences, God loves and parents us with wisdom over our lives that we can’t understand like He can. He always knows what is best for us, even when His best is contrary to what we had hoped for.
Just like a wide-eyed teen who is learning how to be a young adult, we often think that we know better than our Father God. We question Him, we even get angry with Him at times. But He is still our Father, and His love for us doesn’t fade when we pout.
"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken not my covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you."
So for now, I roll with the punches with my girls. After all, one day they’ll have kids of their own and they’ll understand!
But in all seriousness, next time you feel like God’s answers in your life don’t make sense remember who He is. Spend time in His Word, pray and talk to Him. Understand that He loves you so much that if His answer is no, you can rest in the fact that while possibly unpleasant, His no is a good no. And just like our rebellious teens, one day we will see God’s big picture for our lives unfold and we’ll see the brilliance and love in his answer.
Bible Journaling Prompts
Apply what you’ve learned
♡ Whether you are parenting or you are struggling to understand how God fathers you, look up the following verses and write in your journal what they say.
- Lamentations 3:22-23
- Proverbs 29:15
- Philippians 4:6-7
- Romans 5:8
- Zephaniah 3:17
- How many times in this passage did the Israelites rebel against God?
- How many times did he have to discipline them?
- Name a few of the blessings God poured out on them: (Vs 17, 19-25)
- Read verses 28-31. Was God’s discipline on His people irrational or angry or justified? Do you think He punished them to get even, or to remind them where they are going wrong?
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